Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:09 pm

Lore (regional) is a way of saying Lore (community) in the case of a nomadic civilisation. For the more staid types, Lore (regional) is more along the lines of Lore (where the food and herbs and clean water sources are) for Primitive and Barbarian civilisations, and Lore (history and geography) for Civilised nations.

Lore (craft skill) or Lore (other skill) is the body of deep trade secrets associated with that skill - particularly, in the case of Civilised nations, those skills covered by a Guild: Craft (Cordwainer) - they make shoes - would have a Lore (Guild of Cordwainers), with all the deep knowledge of their trade, such as being able to identify a Cordwainer by the specific leather toolings of his shoes, and the best and softest leather to use for uppers and soles - along with their wholesale and retail prices.

Most likely you won't have many licensed Cordwainer player characters in Legend, but if you have a youngster who's forsaken his father's Blacksmithing trade to become an Adventurer and wield swords rather than make them, it is feasible for him to have Lore (Guild of Blacksmiths) as well as Craft (blacksmithing) among his skills.

If you wanted a character who was really good at working metal, a kind of inventor, MacGyveresque character, it'd be practical for him to learn a Lore (metals) so he can use his nous for metals to identify silver from tin, gold from brass, and meteor iron from cold-forged iron made from Earthly ore. Hint: meteor iron is actually structurally weaker than terrestrial iron.

Lore (regional) is always going to be a mix of history and geography, mixing detailed information about where the Kingsroot herb grows and when it flowers, along with the myths and legends of haunted sites and taboo places such as crossroads where the Devil comes at midnight to take away the lost and the foolish; Lore (skill or trade) is always about the deep secrets of that trade, and possibly also knowledge about the legends of that trade - the Shakespeares of the writers' trade, the Paracelsuses and Albertus Magnuses of the alchemists and so on.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby dreamer_prophet » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:52 pm

I'm persuaded over the horses, but less so on the Metallurgy. At least in so far as I still think that spending on the theory of a skill as well as it's practice fails to reward players who are willing to sacrifice an obvious advantage in order to create an interesting character.

Besides, I think I'd opt fot Craft (Smelting) anyway. :wink:
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:16 pm

But does allowing the theoretical skill to be used to augment the practical one in at least some situations reward characters who sacrifice points to gain a clear focus or specialisation? Or is this potentially abusive?
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:22 pm

Smelting is a Lore unto itself.

Bear in mind that the Bronze Age came about through a happy accident - perhaps, some five or six thousand years ago, copper and tin smelters discovered bronze when they smelted malachite ore and cassiterite together and discovered that most useful alloy. So knowledge of how to turn soft, powdery rocks into useful metals was probably a closely-guarded secret for thousands of years. Such knowledge would be passed down from Guildmaster to Apprentice, hoarded jealously, then passed down to the next Apprentice in turn.

It's likely that the earliest smelters, those who knew the secret of smelting, would probably also have studied the secrets of iron ore, massive gold, silver and copper, smelted galena for lead and worked on dozens of different metals and alloys.

I can pretty much guarantee that, inasmuch as there was a Craft (metalworker), there was a Lore that went with it - a Lore kept close to the chest of the Masters of each metalworker's Guild.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:28 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:But does allowing the theoretical skill to be used to augment the practical one in at least some situations reward characters who sacrifice points to gain a clear focus or specialisation? Or is this potentially abusive?
No, because the Games Master can rule that even if the Lore skill was a success, it could add maybe the critical range of the Lore skill as a bonus to the Craft skill. If the Lore skill was a critical success, maybe double that.

So if the character was a Master of the Lore skill (101+), it'd only be +10%, +11% or a little higher, to the Craft roll. That would reflect the theoretical experience of the Master, giving him a little edge over the less-experienced Apprentice (Lore skill below 50%).

One thing I had been thinking about was to allow player characters a bonus Improvement Roll to the matching Lore skill every time they learned something new about their trade (in other words - if their Craft (trade) improves, they get a roll to improve their Lore (Guild) as well). Perhaps it's through Teaching skill that this extra Improvement Roll to Lore can come about, particularly in the case of learning Guild trade secrets from a Master in a Guild. Teaching imparts formal knowledge, which is as much theoretical as practical, so it makes sense to improve Lore at the same time as Craft when being taught through the Guild.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Bifford » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:43 pm

alex_greene wrote: One thing I had been thinking about was to allow player characters a bonus Improvement Roll to the matching Lore skill every time they learned something new about their trade (in other words - if their Craft (trade) improves, they get a roll to improve their Lore (Guild) as well). Perhaps it's through Teaching skill that this extra Improvement Roll to Lore can come about, particularly in the case of learning Guild trade secrets from a Master in a Guild. Teaching imparts formal knowledge, which is as much theoretical as practical, so it makes sense to improve Lore at the same time as Craft when being taught through the Guild.
That's a superb idea - in that way the player would have to spend out on the initial Craft AND the initial Lore rolls, maybe at the expense of other things, but from then on whenever they practice their craft they learn and so can do two rolls one for Craft and one for Lore.

I myself craft Leather for my LARP kit. Every single time I work that leather I learn something new - be it a more efficient way to work, a better way to handle the leather or threads, a safer way to work so I don't get stabbed by the needle etc. So it is very true that I'm improving my craft AND my knowledge! I like it.

Now, would you do TWO rolls, one for Craft and one for Lore, or would you do ONE roll and apply to both?
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:02 pm

Bifford wrote:
alex_greene wrote:One thing I had been thinking about was to allow player characters a bonus Improvement Roll to the matching Lore skill every time they learned something new about their trade (in other words - if their Craft (trade) improves, they get a roll to improve their Lore (Guild) as well). Perhaps it's through Teaching skill that this extra Improvement Roll to Lore can come about, particularly in the case of learning Guild trade secrets from a Master in a Guild. Teaching imparts formal knowledge, which is as much theoretical as practical, so it makes sense to improve Lore at the same time as Craft when being taught through the Guild.
That's a superb idea - in that way the player would have to spend out on the initial Craft AND the initial Lore rolls, maybe at the expense of other things, but from then on whenever they practice their craft they learn and so can do two rolls; one for Craft and one for Lore.
My thoughts exactly. Craft and Lore could both be core Guild or cult skills, requiring that the initiate open both on joining his Order.
Bifford wrote:I myself craft Leather for my LARP kit. Every single time I work that leather I learn something new - be it a more efficient way to work, a better way to handle the leather or threads, a safer way to work so I don't get stabbed by the needle etc. So it is very true that I'm improving my craft AND my knowledge! I like it.
LOL Could I interest you in membership of the Cordwainers' Guild, by any chance? :D
Bifford wrote:Now, would you do TWO rolls, one for Craft and one for Lore, or would you do ONE roll and apply to both?
I think it ought to be two separate rolls. If your Lore skill keeps lagging behind your Craft skill, it could indicate that your character is getting out of his depth. If the latter, it means your character is a person who's got a lot of theory, but lacks practice.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Bifford » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:37 pm

alex_greene wrote:
Bifford wrote:I myself craft Leather for my LARP kit. Every single time I work that leather I learn something new - be it a more efficient way to work, a better way to handle the leather or threads, a safer way to work so I don't get stabbed by the needle etc. So it is very true that I'm improving my craft AND my knowledge! I like it.
LOL Could I interest you in membership of the Cordwainers' Guild, by any chance? :D
I need some new LARP shoes of medieval type. Needs grip though as smooth shoes on wet earth/mud do not work well :D My main character is a Mercenary Archer, I and he are a leatherworker, seamster (for costume and banners) and to a basic degree wood worker. I can also re-fletch arrows without glue but that's basic stuff. :D
alex_greene wrote:
Bifford wrote:Now, would you do TWO rolls, one for Craft and one for Lore, or would you do ONE roll and apply to both?
I think it ought to be two separate rolls. If your Lore skill keeps lagging behind your Craft skill, it could indicate that your character is getting out of his depth. If the latter, it means your character is a person who's got a lot of theory, but lacks practice.
That makes sense, truly. Also what a person learns from one act of doing may well outstrip the actual work, or may be a lot less I guess. So if I work out the best way to sew waterproof seems it may take me three or four physical attempts (with just one success so minimal practical learning) but I learn an awful lot of stuff on the way about what doesn't work, what does, what's easy and what's hard, what ruins the seam and what perfects it.

So yeah, two rolls makes sense. :D
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby soltakss » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:14 pm

dreamer_prophet wrote:I'm persuaded over the horses, but less so on the Metallurgy.
Right, then, here we go.

Craft (Smith) allows you to make objects from ingots. At a push, it could be used to smelt ore to make new metal, but at a penalty, unless the two were combined. It might even be used to make weapons or decorative pieces.

Lore ([Metal]) would have been used to know the magical properties of the metals, how to ask the gods to bless the metal so that it does not break, how to enchant a sharp blade, how to make the metal burn elves. It also covers putting an iron blade under a bed to make a man impotent, how to use iron to ward off evil spirits, how to gift bronze to the little people and so on. These are things that are incidental to a smith's trade, but part of the identity of the smith as a magical wonder worker.
dreamer_prophet wrote:At least in so far as I still think that spending on the theory of a skill as well as it's practice fails to reward players who are willing to sacrifice an obvious advantage in order to create an interesting character.
dreamer_prophet wrote:Besides, I think I'd opt fot Craft (Smelting) anyway. :wink:
Well, that makes perfect sense, if you were taking ore and turning them into ingots.

Very few blacksmiths actually did that. Probably very few Bronzesmiths either. Transporting raw ore around is cumbersome and expensive. Unless you had a ready supply of ore available, you wouldn't want to smelt the ore yourself. Far better to buy ingots and use those to make things. So, the smelters live near the ores and make ingots, then they sell them to traders who sell them to smiths who make things. I'd say that only the really early smiths would also have known how to smelt.
alex_greene wrote:Smelting is a Lore unto itself.
Yep, see above.

alex_greene wrote:Bear in mind that the Bronze Age came about through a happy accident - perhaps, some five or six thousand years ago, copper and tin smelters discovered bronze when they smelted malachite ore and cassiterite together and discovered that most useful alloy.
Either that, or some angel/demon/deity came and told them how to do it.

One thing I particularly like about the Bronze Age is that early smiths uses arsenic bronzes, but these were toxic and caused some nerve paralysis and muscle weakness, often resulting on lameness. But, several early Smith Gods, such as Hephaestus, Vulcan and Wayland are also depicted as being lame.
alex_greene wrote:So knowledge of how to turn soft, powdery rocks into useful metals was probably a closely-guarded secret for thousands of years. Such knowledge would be passed down from Guildmaster to Apprentice, hoarded jealously, then passed down to the next Apprentice in turn.
Maybe, but smithing and smelting are two different trades. I'd have thought that after, a few hundred years, the roles would have become differentiated enough that smiths no longer knew how to smelt.
alex_greene wrote:It's likely that the earliest smelters, those who knew the secret of smelting, would probably also have studied the secrets of iron ore, massive gold, silver and copper, smelted galena for lead and worked on dozens of different metals and alloys.
Probably, so you wouldn't have a skill of Craft (Bronzesmith), but a generic Craft (Smith) would have done. Iron smelting is difficult, as it needs a higher temperature, I think; so smiths would have used meteoric iron which would have been seen as a magical metal - this means that iron working could well have begun in the Bronze Age, before iron smelting was know.
alex_greene wrote:I can pretty much guarantee that, inasmuch as there was a Craft (metalworker), there was a Lore that went with it - a Lore kept close to the chest of the Masters of each metalworker's Guild.
The same would apply to every craft guild. The Lore would concern itself with the magical properties, how the metal could be used, who else has the knowledge, which deities the metal belonged to and so on.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby dreamer_prophet » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:01 pm

The same would apply to every craft guild. The Lore would concern itself with the magical properties, how the metal could be used, who else has the knowledge, which deities the metal belonged to and so on.
Now that is something I could get enthusiastic about. I really like the way your ideas have evolved here; I see they could dovetail neatly with common magic too.

Improvements in a character's Lore skill could be linked to promotion in the guild. Rather like a freemason demonstrating familiarity with the order's rites to achieve promotion.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby soltakss » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:04 pm

dreamer_prophet wrote:Now that is something I could get enthusiastic about. I really like the way your ideas have evolved here; I see they could dovetail neatly with common magic too.
A Blacksmith could well have some specialist Common Magic that is cast using his Lore (Blacksmith) skill, in the same way as a cult uses the Lore (Advanced Whatyacallit) skill. This would represent the Blacksmith as Magician trope. The same would apply for other crafts, but what spells the Lore (Nightsoil) skill would give is anyone's guess.
dreamer_prophet wrote:Improvements in a character's Lore skill could be linked to promotion in the guild. Rather like a freemason demonstrating familiarity with the order's rites to achieve promotion.
Yes, exactly the same as if in a cult. In fact, a Craft Guild is just another organisation, as are Societies, Cults and Schools.
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